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Clean Your Boat's Fuel Tank

Fueltec Systems provides a custom tailored maintenance solution for cleaning diesel, and ethanol blended gasoline fuel tanks: 

  • Retail Fuel at Boatyards and Marinas 
  • Commercial Boats 
  • Recreational Boats 

From microbial contamination in ultra‐low sulfur diesel to Phase Separation in ethanol blended gasoline, fuel storage facilities at boatyards and marinas are charged with finding ways to continually improve upon fuel quality while containing or reducing costs. 

Why Use a Marine Fuel Polishing System?

Emergency boats and standby generator sets running diesel fuel are at a great risk for bacterial contamination as they often go through extended intervals of disuse. Without proper maintenance, sitting water can become a veritable petri dish in your fuel tank. 

In boats fueled by ethanol blended gasoline, water is present, leading to Phase Separation. When gasoline containing Ethanol comes in contact with water—either liquid or in the form of humidity—the ethanol will absorb some or all of that water. When it reaches a saturation point the ethanol and water will Phase Separate, actually coming out of solution and forming distinct layers on the fuel tank bottom. The result could lower the octane to a point that the engine will not run; or if the alcohol/water mixture is ingested into the engine, sever damage can occur. 

Use a Fueltec Fuel Polishing System to service your boat’s fuel and clean its fuel tank. 

Fueltec Systems is a resource that offers a unique set of turnkey fuel tank service options and equipment designed to help solve these problems for both the boat owner and retail fueling facility. 

Benefits of Using a Marine Fuel Polishing System for Your Boat

Reduced Customer Complaints: A proactive service program with Fueltec Systems, all but eliminates transferring bad fuel.

Elimination of Down Time: Fuel Storage tanks that are properly cleaned and maintained with Fueltec’s Mobile Systems suffer far less down time then tanks that are only serviced when pumps slow down and water is found on tank bottoms.

Eliminate Expensive Emergency Service Calls: Emergency service calls are sometimes done with vacuum service trucks to remove the tank bottom water. Using vacuum trucks without fuel/water separators can lose as much as 300 to 500 gallons of product along with the water.

Filter Cost Savings: Using Fueltec’s latest proprietary technology and equipment you can remove the filter clogging moisture and bacteria from fuel storage tanks thereby reducing the need to change dispenser filters by as much as 80%

Fueltec’s Systems clean tanks with no loss of product.

Prevent Unexpected Engine Shutdown: A pro‐active fuel tank cleaning program will prevent bad fuel issues.

Prevent Bacteria and Fungus: In diesel fuel tanks colonies of filter clogging bacteria and fungus will grow at the fuel/water interface. The by-product of these colonies is acidic sludge which corrode tanks and engine components. 

No Water Buildup in Fuel Tanks: Engines may be exercised regularly and operate properly and to specification. However inside the fuel tank, out of sight, free and emulsified water is slowly accumulating from condensation, leaky tank openings, and even fuel deliveries with high water content. As the evening temperature falls the water begins to condense out of the fuel and build inside of the tank. 

Prevent Fuel Filter Clogging Microbes: When the fuel/water interface grows high enough to reach the engine’s fuel supply tube—which may be one or more inches above the tank bottom—filter clogging microbes will be drawn into the fuel system and stop the engine. 

All boats, gasoline or diesel accumulate water in their fuel tanks from condensation, leaky tank openings, tank vents, and even fuel deliveries with high water content. 

Eliminate Water in Your Fuel: Many small boat owners fill their tanks with ethanol blended (E10) gasoline at local gas stations. 

When E10 is blended, 10% ethanol (115 octane) is mixed with a low octane gasoline. This combination will give you the required octane to safely run your engine. However, if there is any water in your fuel tank, the ethanol will combine with the water and leave you with low octane gasoline to operate your engine. 

  1. Your engine will not run on low octane fuel. 
  2. You may suffer major engine damage if the water or phase separation enters your engine. 

A pro‐active tank cleaning & fuel polishing program can eliminate these problems. 

How to Clean Your Boat's Fuel and Tank

Most fuel contaminants, including water, are heavier than fuel and will settle to the fuel tank bottom if undisturbed. 

Always take a fuel sample and place it in a clear container to actually see the fuel contamination in your tank: 

  • Take one sample from the top ¼ of the tank to check for clarity. 
  • Take one from the tank bottom to check for water, emulsification, and particulates. 
  • Compare the two samples. 

If no contamination is found (which is not likely) take more samples in 60 days or an hour after re-fueling. 

If any water is found, slowly remove it by drawing fluid from the tank bottom at a low flow rate to prevent emulsification with diesel or further phase separation with ethanol blended fuels (E10). 

If particulate contamination is found in the sample, filter the fuel with a one micron filter by drawing fluid from the tank bottom. 

Always compare fuel samples from before and after fuel polishing and tank cleaning. 

Tank cleaning is a relative term. A clean tank should be able to store fuel in a condition that exceeds the engine manufacturers recom-mended ISO 18/16/13 cleanliness target. 

Fuel should be delivered to an engine with less than 100 parts per million of free or emulsified water. 

Always draw fluid from the storage tank bottom when cleaning & de‐watering.

Unlike some systems, Fueltec utilizes a low cost ($6.00) bag type pre-filter to remove heavy sludge, rust, and particulate matter to one micron. 

The fuel pump only sees fuel after it has been filtered. 

A (jet fuel type) micro-glass filter/water separator removes water from fuel down to less than 100 parts per million exceeding the engine manufacturers recommendations. 

An air-operated diaphragm fuel pump is safe for all fuels including diesel, jet fuel, gasoline & E-10. The air-operated system can easily be cleaned and hoses emptied to avoid cross contamination when polishing different fuels. 

On-boat fuel tanks with small diameter access ports like the fuel level sender opening, you can attach a small 3/8” ID suction tube to the Fueltec polisher hose. This will allow you to get to the lowest part of the tank to remove water & debris. 

Fueltec’s variable speed air diaphragm pumps allow you to use small diameter suction tubes without damaging the pump. 

All of Fueltec’s mobile systems have two modes of operation: 

  1. Filtration with water separation 
  2. Filtration without water separation 

All of Fueltec’s commercial systems come ready to work right out of the box, including a fuel sampler, hoses, fuel pickup tubes, spare one micron filters and a spare water coalescer/filter; just add a small 10 CFM air compressor and you are ready to go. 

Commercial Boat & Marine Fuel Polishing Systems
  • You won’t need high price chemicals or so called catalysts.
  • You won’t need magnets to remove rust. 
  • The Fueltec system does not require messy back-flushing. 
  • This Fueltec system does not require high cost water blocking filters.
  • Fueltec’s micro-glass fuel water separators work without help. 
  • You will not have to stop the Fueltec system to drain the separated water. Fueltec has a pressurized drain. 
  • You will not have to guess if you actually separated water from the fuel. You can see it in Fueltec’s sight tube. 

Cleaning a Small Boat Fuel Tank

Cleaning Small Marine Boat Fuel Tanks

Cleaning Large Boat Fuel Tanks

Ready to Clean Your Boat's Fuel Tank to Prevent Unexpected Shutdown?